Grow Your Business with the 2011 FamilyFarmed Expo – March 17, 18 & 19

February 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm


For the third year, the Local Beet is a part of FamilyFarmed’s three day celebration of local food.   More than a celebration, the Expo is a premier way to place yourself in the local food scene and learn how to expand your business.  Expect to hear much more from us about the forthcoming event.  And make sure to come see the Local Beet at the Expo.  On March 18 and 19, we will have a table at the Expo to address your questions about eating local as well as to provide you information to help you choose your CSA for 2011.  Also, on 2011, we are proud to participate in a panel on eating local year round.  The session, “Yes We Can” features such notables as Paul Virant from Vie and Terra Brockman, author of The Seasons at Henry’s Farm.  Finally, the host of the Local Beet’s Cheesey Conversations, Keighty Alvarez, leads a panel on March 20th on home cheese making.  Scroll down for more of what’s in store for the Expo and keep your eyes on the Beet for additional details.

Farmers and Producers: Grow Your Business by learning about financing and meeting investors on March 17. On March 18, meet those in the trade like school food service administrators, grocery buyers and distributors, chefs, and more! On March 19, meet thousands of direct consumers and build relationships to last throughout the year!

Trade Buyers, Investors, Bankers, Chefs, Food Service Administrators: Grow Your Business on March 17 by connecting with farmers and producers looking to start and expand their businesses. On March 18, meet and develop relationships with dozens of farmers and producers looking to sell wholesale.  On March 19, check out the Good Food Festival to discover some of the best in the good food movement!

 Thursday March 17

Financing Farm to Fork Conference:
The Financing Farm to Fork Conference supports the local food movement by encouraging investment in farm and food production, processing, and distribution businesses. The event is being produced by and sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.  The conference features a Financing Fair and Business Plan Competition. Keynote speakers include Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm and Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power.

Friday March 18
FamilyFarmed Trade Show:

This day-long event is the leading Midwest trade show connecting farmers and food producers with trade buyers.  It also offers programming and technical assistance to support farmers, trade buyers, and other stakeholders to grow their business and the local food movement.  The day will conclude with a Meet the Buyers Reception where farmers and food companies can meet leading buyers interested in local food.

Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council Summit:  

Leaders in food access, urban agriculture, and food policy meet to advocate for a sustainable and fair food system serving the city of Chicago and its suburbs.

What’s Working in School Food:

On Friday, March 18, with support from Healthy Schools Campaign and Illinois Farm to School Network, School Food Focus will lead a day of programming focused on moving school food procurement towards more healthful, regionally-sourced and sustainably-produced options.

 Meet the Buyers:

Meet some of Chicagoland’s largest buyers of local foods! This event is meant to play matchmaker between farmers and food producers and a wide range of buyers from supermarkets, distributors, restaurants, and institutions. It’s a reverse trade show in which the buyers have a table and meet farmers and food producers.  

 Localicious Party: 

Localicious is the food event of the season! Join us for fabulous food and drinks, live music provided by Liquid Soul, and an opportunity to connect with other good food enthusiasts. The party pairs family farms with chef-driven restaurants for a sampling of the freshest ingredients and flavors of the season.  Whether you’re a foodie, locavore, or just someone who loves good food, you don’t want to miss it!

 Saturday, March 19
Sally Fallon leads our fun and engaging workshop lineup. Learn about growing your own food, canning, food activism, making cheese, vertical farming, shopping local on a budget, using the whole animal, and raising chickens in your backyard!

Good Food Festival:
Stephanie Izard leads our 2011 all-star line-up of celebrity chefs, food artisans and of course family farmers!  You can meet farme rs, sign up for a CSA and learn how to eat local year-round, sample and purchase local produce, cheese, meats, honey, wool, soaps, and other great products. Also check out the Kids Corner, Local Food Court, bookstore, and more!